31 May 2023 - Daria
Noise | Noise-Rock | Time to Kill Records | Release date: 21 Apr 2023
What remains when we realize that all the ‘’hype’’ culture was really about nothing, or worse, has been just a disappointment? What are we left with when we have to face everyday the actual status of our capitalistic society and the collapsing of out world? Are we really living into a dystopic capitalistic nightmare, or is it actually real life? I don’t know for sure, but I can say that these are some of the questions that popped up in my mind reading about the latest Cani Dei Portici’s record: Hype For Nothing, I’m not just imagining things, there is a whole concept behind this work.
One of the most interesting Italian Noise bands of the last few years is Cani Dei Portici, a noise duo from Bologna, formed by Claudio Adamo and Demetrio Sposato, it is literally translated as Porticoes’ Dogs - that’s because Bologna is well known for its characteristic Porticoes. They describe their music as dogcore: an explosive mix of harsh noise-core with aggressive drums and guitar with melodic and tamed parts. Seven years after their latest LP Due - that came out in 2016 (this one is likely considered one of the most representative records for the Italian noise scene of those years) – Hype For Nothing takes the band to the infamous third album turning point, and I think they managed it flawlessly.
There has been a lot of work behind this record, first the band is now part of Time To Kill Records’ roster, Italian music label of Fulci, Necrodeath and many more. The promotional and artistic work related to the release shows a lot of artistic growth: we have three official videos from three different artists; “ASAP” - a stop motion video by artist Daniel Olivas, the video for the title-track by Sofia Braga and “Farfalle” – by Elide Blind, and the artwork has been done by the famous manga author Shintaro Kago.
Apart from the “promotional” view of the release, we can see how much Hype For Nothing means for the band starting from the title itself, literally: hype for nothing, we’re living in an historical moment were millions struggle with living a decent life. We have big dreams, but we can’t always fulfil them, we had some expectations for life … all gone. We make so much effort every day to survive in this life and most of the times we don’t get anything back: underpaid jobs, world crisis - from wars to the unsustainable capitalism we’re living in. Why should we be hyped for anything?
The result is a slap full of noise direct in your face: Six tracks for a full emotional journey. “Break Away” starts without sparing ears, that’s it, that’s the dogcore straight to your ears. The riff hits you straightforward and it almost hypnotizes you. This is the maturity of the third record, the band’s sound has definitely evolved, it’s not only harsh noise anymore, but there is also something else. The riff is gone, after one minute you go down already, slow, reflecting about what you’re hearing, only arpeggios, a bit of calm, a bit of time and suspension…and then the wall of noise rises again. It’s a wild ride with these two, and this is only the beginning.
“ASAP” is the noise core of this album, 1:18 of pure violent music, you’re an anthropomorphic dog trying to climb a mountain, you’re at a point of exhaustion but you find the energy to do it, you can do it, the drums and the distorted guitar are saying so. What’s at the top of the mountain? What are you looking for? WHO KNOWS! HYPE FOR NOTHING! Or use your imagination, that’s also an option. That’s what the stop-motion video of this song leaves you with…what happens next? What’s the hype of this mountain? Only you can find a meaning for this.
And I don’t think that the following title-track is there by accident, this is a journey, you’ve reached the mountain and now you realize this is really hype for nothing. The official video for “Hype For Nothing” takes you into a dystopian AI-generated world: what’s left of our humanity when we live in a world that’s collapsing? (I would say nothing, but I reckon that I’m too negative on this topic).
Like the mourning phase, the energetic rise, the discovery, the journey through these violent sounds is followed by disappointment or rather by “Disappointment Waltz” which is notable for the alternating moments of calm/healing moments from the disappointment, and the remembrance of what we went through during the not-very-harsh-but-still-energic math part. As said before, this is really a wild ride.
Last but not less notable, the album closes with “Farfalle” the only song with an Italian title and lyrics (also in Italian). This last song may seem out of theme in the concept of the album, for someone it may be, but not for me. We said that the main core of the album is the wild violent ride with few moments to catch breath. “Farfalle” is out of this core; this song is lyrical violence and full of emotional meaning that – to me – is the right choice to close an album like this: with the last emotional hit the one that punches you so very hard you almost cry; it seems that during their tour a lot of people in the audience actually cried during this song. The power of this song is all in the lyrics that give that plus to the music. This song in particular is about a loss, and when you dive into the lyrics you can understand a lot better this interpretation, that’s why I suggest you take a look, even if it’s in Italian, it’s worth a read. The core of these lyrics, that is also repeated for the whole second part of this song is “Il vuoto rimane nel cuore degli altri, amaro chi muore amaro chi resta.” - “The void remains in other’s hearts, sad who dies painful who remains.”